UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss arrived in New Delhi this week with enhancing defence and security cooperation between the two countries on top of the agenda for talks with her Indian counterpart, S. Jaishankar.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the ministerial visit was part of a wider diplomatic push ahead of NATO and G7 meetings next week to tackle the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Truss said: “Deeper ties between Britain and India will boost security in the Indo-Pacific and globally, and create jobs and opportunities in both countries.
MORE LIKE THIS…
“This matters even more in the context of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and underlines the need for free democracies to work closer together in areas like defence, trade and cyber security. India is an economic and tech powerhouse, the world’s largest democracy and a great friend of Britain, and I want to build an even closer relationship between our two nations.”
The UK government’s stated focus is on countering Russia’s aggression and reduce global strategic dependence on the country and Truss’ agenda includes progressing talks to develop defence-related trade with India, including innovative security technology, to strengthen defence ties with the world’s largest democracy.
In her meeting with Jaishankar, the minister will say that Russia’s action in Ukraine underlines the importance of democracies working closer together to "deter aggressors, reduce vulnerability to coercion and strengthen global security". The ministers will go on to address the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum to set out their vision for the long-term relationship between the two countries.
As part of the Enhanced Cyber Partnership agreed within the UK-India Roadmap 2030, the UK minister is set to announce a new joint cyber security programme with the aim of protecting online infrastructure in both countries from attacks. Under the initiative, India and the UK will work together to increase cyber security and carry out joint exercises to practise combatting threats from cybercriminals and ransomware, the FCDO said.
MORE LIKE THIS…
On the energy front, the visiting Foreign Secretary will confirm £70 million of British International Investment (BII) funding to support renewable energy use in India, aimed at helping India build renewable energy capacity and develop solar power in the region. Plans for a new platform to allow British investors to bid for green infrastructure, technology, and business opportunities in India is also set to be confirmed.
Closer maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, involving the UK joining India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and becoming a lead partner on maritime security issues and coordinating work with key partners in Southeast Asia, is also on the ministerial agenda.
This marks the second trip to India by Truss as Foreign Secretary, following her visit in October 2021.